LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Protesters Monday rallied at Cal State Long Beach to call for Gov. Jerry Brown to outlaw well-stimulation treatment for oil and gas production, or “fracking.”
The rally took place as officials with the California Department of Conservation and its Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources hosted one of several statewide public hearings to seek input the controversial process, which critics claim poses a threat to public health and the state eco-system.
Last September, Brown signed Senate Bill 4, which he said “establishes strong environmental protections and transparency requirements” for companies involved in fracking. In a signing statement (PDF), Brown also acknowledged SB 4 “needs some clarifying amendments” and pledged to work on those beginning this year.
But opponents with Food & Water Watch, the Sierra Club, Beach Cities Democratic Club, and other groups claim the legislation will simply encourage unregulated fracking through 2015 and violates “the will of the majority of Californians who want a ban on fracking.”
A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California in July 2012 found that about 53 percent of likely voters are against the expansion of fracking in the state.
California officials have estimated more than 15 billion barrels of oil could be contained in the gargantuan Monterey/Santos shale formation, which extends from the Los Angeles Basin all the way up to Salinas in Northern California.
The Energy Information Administration estimates the Monterey/Santos shale formation that extends from Salinas to the Los Angeles Basin may contain as much as 15.4 billion barrels of oil, making it the largest shale oil source in the Lower 48.
Fracking sites have been established in the cities of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Carson, Culver City, Baldwin Hills, Brea, Huntington Beach and Seal Beach.
The Cal State Long Beach forum is the first of five events where state officials will solicit public comments on proposed fracking regulation.